Bring up pheromones in casual conversation and the responses might range from puzzlement to musings about whether those “pheromone perfumes” can really make you irresistible to the opposite sex. We’re here to give you some of the facts (and maybe dispel a few myths) about these often-mysterious substances.
What are pheromones?
Pheromones are chemical signals that many creatures use to communicate. Worker bees rally the rest of the hive by producing alarm pheromones when they perceive a threat. And pheromone markers are how a trail of ants quickly finds its way to the cookie you left on the counter. Though their effects have been noticed for centuries, the first pheromone wasn’t actually identified until 1959, by German chemist Adolf Butenandt.
So pheromones aren't all about attraction?
We primarily hear about how mammals, like cats and dogs, use pheromones to attract or select mates. But they’re also used for a variety of other functions. Mother dogs release appeasing pheromones to reassure their puppies. Mother cats also produce a feline appeasing pheromone to reassure their kittens, and when cats rub their faces on furniture and other objects, they’re marking them with a feline facial pheromone that signals the objects are familiar and safe.
How can pheromones help with cat behavior problems?
The Comfort Zone Calming Diffuser and Comfort Zone Spray & Scratch Control Spray each contain a copy of the cat facial pheromone that signals safe, familiar territory, reducing stress behaviors like cat urine marking and cat scratching, due to:
- New furniture
- Unfamiliar people
- A new environment
- Visiting the vet
“WE PRIMARILY HEAR ABOUT HOW MAMMALS, LIKE CATS AND DOGS, USE PHEROMONES TO ATTRACT OR SELECT MATES. BUT THEY'RE ALSO USED FOR A VARIETY OF OTHER FUNCTIONS.”
Will pheromones help if my cats are fighting or hissing at each other?
Yes! Comfort Zone Multi-Cat Diffuser is formulated with a synthetic version of the feline appeasing pheromone, which mother cats produce during lactation to help kittens feel safe and secure. This is a different pheromone than in our Comfort Zone Calming Diffuser, and it helps to calm any tension or conflict between cats.
Oh, and as far as those pheromone perfumes are concerned, we humans may be out of luck…at least for now. While it seems likely that people have pheromones just like other animals, according to American Scientist, none have actually been identified so far.